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Home > Privacy & Info Safety
130 Chinese headhunters arrested, involving breach of 200 million pieces of personal information

Recently, under the command and through collaboration with the Ministry of Public Security, the Guangdong Public Security Department coordinated a police operation named “Clean Net #7”. The operation was simultaneously launched in 20 provinces including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, and was led by the Guangdong Police Force.


The operation successfully brought to justice a large citizen information infringement criminal group, captured more than 130 suspects, and tracked down over 200 million pieces of citizen information. This case is the largest citizen personal information violation case in China uncovered so far, including unlawfully provided internal contact books and personal resumes.


On May 2019, Guangzhou police received a joint complaint from multiple internet companies claiming that the website “Lietou Sou” illegally acquired and stored large quantities of internal contact books and personal resumes from corporations, and then provides the information for user download. The name “Lietou Sou” can be directly translated as “Headhunter Research”.


Based on a preliminary analysis, the website “Lietou Sou” has numerous users, a great number of internal contact books and personal resumes, including many well-known corporations from numerous industries. After reporting relevant case details to the Guangzhou Public Security Department, the case received great attention and the “Clean Net #7” operation was set up. A specialized taskforce was quickly assembled and began investigating the case. Investigations of the task force revealed a criminal group who illegally established the “Lietou Sou” website and used it for illegally supplying and acquiring personal information.


Investigations show that “Lietou Sou” belonged to an HR company based in Shenzheng, and is managed, operated and maintained by the HR company’s management: Liu and Gao as well as the technician Liu.


The website registers users through invitation codes and manages user uploaded data through a point system. Users acquire corporate internal contact books and personal resume and illegally upload them on to “Lietou Sou” for other users to download in return for points. They can then use these points to download data that they need. According to our information, “Lietou Sou” has over 60,000 registered users on their website, with possibly over 400,000 internal contact books or personal resume.


After thorough investigation of the structure of the criminal organization and securing relevant criminal evidence, the taskforce initiated the “Clean Net #7” operation, detaining over 130 criminal suspects, tracked down over 200 million pieces of citizen information and brought the entire organization to justice.


The police stated that illegally supplying, acquiring, trading citizen personal information are all criminal behaviors. In particular, building a platform for the purposes of illegally collecting and trading citizen personal information is even worse, seriously threatening the safety of other’s personal information and personal property. At the same time, the police cautioned the public to not test the law, raise awareness towards this issue, pay attention to protecting their own personal information, and report any activities that violate your information to a public security department.




Henry Chen

Henry, licensed to practice law in China and New York, is a senior partner of Dentons Shanghai Office.  Before joining Dentons, Henry was AP Compliance Director of Ford.  Henry is the legal counsel of one of the biggest Internet search engine companies for its autonomous driving projects covering data integrity and security, protection of commercial secrets under the context of cyber security, compliance with Cyber Security Law, autonomous survey and mapping, privacy, risk management on autonomous driving accidents and car call-back, risk management on network penetration and safety.  In addition to TMT areas, Henry also handles traditional compliance issues on FCPA, anti-fraud investigation, compliance management system, corporate matters and dispute resolutions.  Henry's email is Henry.Chen@dentons.cn


Calvin Chiu

Calvin is a counsel in the Firm's Beijing Corporate department. He focuses on advising clients in TMT sector with respect to a wide array of issues: business strategy, corporate, contracts, investment, finance, regulatory aspect of internet-based activities, and cybersecurity and data compliance. His clientele reflects a representative section of TMT, including technology, Internet, e-commerce, software, smart devices, digital media, and blockchain. Calvin has a broad experience of advising innovative and new technologies companies on corporate financing and M&As, both in China and cross-border. He is particularly well versed in assisting foreign companies in the sector in entering or expanding into China’s market – whether by green field investment, acquiring targets, or forming joint ventures. He is recognized by taking a holistic perspective on offering pragmatic legal solutions that fit in the commercial reality.


Jianmin Zhang

Jianmin is a partner in the Firm's Beijing Corporate department. He focuses his practice on private equity investment and related dispute resolution, data compliance, and privacy protection. Mr. Zhang has an in-depth understanding of information governance. He is Director of the Data Compliance Research Center and co-founder of Bear Club (a club advocating privacy protection and data related research). He creates the innovative legal service product Data FTA Service Pack, which is becoming increasingly popular for data assert due diligence.


Taiger Zhao

Taiger Yunhu Zhao is practicing in Dentons. He holds degrees of Engineering Master of Shanghai Jiaotong University and L.L.M of East China University of Political Science and Law. As a Senior Programmer and Patent Attorney, Taiger has overseas working experience in Huawei, ZTE, and other global leading ICT solution providers. Zhao's diverse practice focuses principally on Technology law, Corporation law and Dispute resolution, involving Intellectual Properties Rights (i.e. patent, trade mark, copyright, business secrets in ICT industry). He also provides services in Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, FinTech and other industry sectors. Mr. Zhao is fully qualified to serve customers related to different capacities crossing law, natural science and techniques boundaries.

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